|Scythe Form | Gun Form
High Caliber Sniper Scythe
As its name implies, Crescent Rose's frame is colored rose red with black trims, with its large scythe blade forged into a crescent shape. Ruby's crest is engraved onto the circular swivel frame of the weapon.
The most notable property of Crescent Rose is its converting frame: it allows Crescent Rose to transform into different modes of combat, from a full-scale scythe and sniper rifle form to a condensed rifle form.
It can also fold up tightly and be holstered for more convenient transportation, stored underneath Ruby's cloak at her waist. Also, though it appears to be a bolt-action weapon, it does not need to be in its gun mode to fire.
In order to use Crescent Rose to its fullest potential, it is implied that a scythe-wielder of equivalent skill to either Ruby or Qrow would be necessary. In particular, the user would have to deal with Crescent Rose's massive recoil: rather than compensate for it, Ruby uses the recoil to amplify her overall combat prowess. Ruby also uses the recoil to enhance her mobility in combat; she fires shots to propel herself short distances, using it to simultaneously attack and evade.
She also uses her weapon's recoil to launch herself further into the air than when she jumps, such as seen after being launched into the air by Weiss when facing the Nevermore. In melee combat, Ruby can fire a shot immediately before a swing, using the recoil to increase the force and speed of her attack. She can also embed the scythe's blade into the ground to prevent the weapon's recoil from throwing off her aim with the sniper rifle component.
It is possible that standard round magazines have a 30 round limit, as in the "Red" Trailer she reloads after 30 shots if counting the shots off-screen but SFX were heard for.
According to Professor Ozpin, Crescent Rose is described as "one of the most dangerous weapons ever designed." In Episode 2, Ruby comments she was the one who designed Crescent Rose, although she also admitted she went overboard with the process.
Crescent Rose appears to be a highly advanced technological piece of equipment. Its collapsible frame allows it to transform between three different modes:
- A "storage" mode, its most compacted form, where it can be condensed for travel convenience;
- A "rifle" mode, where it takes the form of a medium-length bolt-action rifle. In this form, the absence of the scythe makes for more effective use of the rifle component; and
- A "scythe" mode, its most expanded form, where it fully extends into the form of a scythe, allowing it to be used as a mid-to-close-range bladed melee weapon. This form also doubles as a long-barrel sniper rifle for more precise, long-range, high-energy shots without giving up the melee capabilities of the scythe.
In addition, because of the frame's lightweight design, it can freely shift between these three modes quickly and with ease. The drawback: due to its lack of substantial weight and its high-energy output, each shot fired from Crescent Rose carries a very high recoil. The weapon also requires large specialized ammunition with a limited round-per-magazine capacity.
The weapon appears to have two separate types of ammunition. When Ruby reloads, she can be seen inserting a magazine with a cross (4 arrows pointing towards a central dot) etched on it. Her subsequent attacks and movements are significantly more powerful than those with the “regular” ammunition, likely due to the shots themselves being much more powerful, increasing her speed through the increased recoil of each shot.
Monty Oum hinted in a tweet that the RWBY community had missed something in the "Red" Trailer, and followed by posting a picture of Ruby during her last shot. It is unknown what the hint may have referred to, but the enhanced bullets may create a cross-shaped discharge whenever one is fired. The discharge resembles the Nevermore at certain points, which is possibly what Oum was referring to.
Interestingly, the Crescent Rose is capable of bending its blade backwards. This form largely resembles the traditional war-scythe, a combat modified version of the old scythes.
- The scythe has a small, jagged blade at the bottom of the shaft, perhaps used for swirling attacks or as a counter weight.
- Ruby seems to have no difficulties with 'unsheathing' it or extending the scythe's blade, suggesting that Crescent Rose is mechanical and can operate itself.
- Professor Ozpin notes that Crescent Rose is "one of the most dangerous weapons ever designed." However, as Ruby claims to have designed it herself, Ozpin was most likely referring to sniper-scythes in general. Another explanation for his comment is that he examined Crescent Rose himself, since it is not on Ruby during her interrogation.
- It is likely that Ruby partly named the weapon after herself, since it bears her last name. Crescent comes from the shape of the blade, which is the same as a crescent moon.
- When the weapon fires, it produces what appear to be rose petals; this could be where the other half of the weapon's name comes from.
- Ruby at one point affectionately referred to the weapon as "Sweetheart", showing her fondness for the weapon.
- Ruby's recoil usage of her weapon is similar to how Nora uses her Magnhild, in which she also uses the recoil ability to propel herself certain distances or to add force to her strikes.
- The weapon's original form was a Barrett M82 sniper rifle with minor changes, and with the scythe mounted at the end of the barrel. The final version has very little in common with the M82.